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Talisman

Owner(s) Marta Rich, Scott Rich
Web site www.talismanwine.com
 
Link to this site

Scott Rich learned his craft under Tony Soter at Etude in Carneros. Along with wife Marta Rich who is also the National Sales Manager for Calera, he started his small label in 1993. Scott is a lover of unique terroir and he searches high and low for vineyards that are challenging and expressive. “I like to express terroir - that is the beauty of Pinot Noir - and that comes through in the more extreme vineyards.” Each of his bottlings are typically 200-300 cases. I have tasted through a vertical of his Pinot Noirs and found them to be terrific wines that showed their age extremely well.

Scott’s wines are sold through a mailing list and the website store. The winery is in a warehouse setting in Sonoma as part of the Eighth Street Wineries. The winery is open four times a year during regional and local open house events (see website for dates). Tasting by appointment can be arranged in special cases.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Talisman Spring Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 244 cases, $44. Release April 2014. The vineyard is located on a wind-blown ridge west of the town of Petaluma. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas are so appealing one wants to dive into the glass. Scents of red cherry, spice, herbs and oak in perfect harmony. The cherry core of fruit is complimented by an oak sheen. Lighter in weight with mild tannins and some finishing intensity and length, offering good lip-smacking acidity. A good example of how oak brings out the best in Pinot Noir. The most interesting wine I have had from this vineyard. Score: 92. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Wildcat Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 242 cases, $44. Release April 2014. This vineyard has the highest elevation of any vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA. Red, pebbly clay loam soils born of decomposed volcanic basalt. The site is exposed to a cool air flow from San Pablo Bay. Clones are Dijon 115, 667, 777 and Swan. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is spectacularly endowed with aromas of boysenberry, wood spice and anise. Soft in the mouth with a plethora of purple and blue berry flavors underlain with an earthy riff. Very mild fine grain tannins, perfect integration of oak, and a satisfying, intensely flavored finish. An evocative wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 241 cases, $52. Released October 2013. This vineyard is located high above Bennett Valley at 800 feet elevation on the northwestern side of Sonoma Mountain. A very low-yielding site. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of red cherries, cinnamon and other spices, and old cask. Round and polished on the palate, featuring flavors of black cherries with a hint of tobacco and oak in the background. The most rustic, earthy and savory of the lineup. A noticeable lift of acidity on the finish is refreshing. Score: 92. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 243 cases, $56. Release April 2014. An organically farmed and certified vineyard tended by Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards. Clones are Wädenswil, Swan, 113 and Pommard. · The nose brings you to attention with deeply fragrant notes of Hoison sauce, black grapes, blackberries and cardamom spice. Very softly textured, perfectly composed with a judicious use of oak. Typical Los Carneros flavors of darker berries, black plum, mushroom and damp soil pervade. The sweet, perfectly ripened fruit attack makes an impression on the front of the palate, expands its reach across the mid palate like a silk sheet, and finishes with a flourish. A transcendent, “Oh My God” wine. Score: 95. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Talisman Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 243 cases, $65. Released October 2013. A unique site with very cold night time temperatures and gravelly, well-drained soils. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of cherry, raspberry, blueberry and dark chocolate. Charming essence of sweet, dark red cherries and berries with a hint of lovable spice on the palate. Seamless with integrated tannins and a long, intensely fruited finish. This wine just speaks class. Everything you like in Pinot Noir from a very special vineyard. Score: 96. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2009 Talisman Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 237 cases. One of the last to pick in this vintage. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This is an outstanding wine that offers a more savory take on Weir fruit. The middleweight flavors of darker cherries and berries are appealing, the acidity is uplifting, and the herb-driven finish is delightful. Drink or hold. Score: 92. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Sonoma County Cuvée Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.62, 161 cases, $32. A multi-vineyard blend selected from single-vineyard lots. Barrels of both 2007 and 2008 vintages went into this blend. Dijon 115, 777, Pommard and Swan. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very reserved aromatics offering hints of dark cherry compote and herbs. Earth-kissed flavors of black cherries and black raspberries clothed in mild ripe grape tannins and offering a refreshing cut of acidity on the finish. Still seems tight and I would decant if you open now. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink. Good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Gunsalus Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.52, 296 cases, $40. Pamela and Glen Gunsalus farm their vineyard located in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. Dijon 114, 115, 667 and 777. 25% whole clusters, native fermentation. Aged 20 months in 75% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh pie cherries, spice and herbs. Amazing depth of cherry and red raspberry flavor, accented with notes of sassafras and baking spices. Long and creamy on the palate, finishing with a burst of sweet cherry fruit flavor that sails along. The flavors trump the aromas now, but further bottle aging should remedy that. Flat out beautiful and a worthy followup to the spectacular 2007 bottling from this vineyard. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.59, 184 cases, $45. Highest elevation vineyard in Los Carneros . An extreme, cool site exposed to the wind from San Pablo Bay. Red pebbly clay loam soils. Swan, Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777. Aged 20 months in 86% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A very divisive wine because of its feral and savory components. Aromas of wild strawberries, black cherries, spice and subtle ash. Silky on the palate with discreetly concentrated flavors of red cherries and berries with a hint of spice and truffle. Oak-driven smoke and tar are evident. Considerably better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with brighter and fruitier aromatics and less oak-driven attributes. Good (+) but may warrant a higher recommendation in a few years as the high percentage of new oak becomes better integrated into the wine. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 335 cases, $48. This vineyard is located high above Bennett Valley at 1200 feet elevation on the northwestern side of Sonoma Mountain. 100% Pommard 4 clone. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. An array of perfectly ripe purple and black fruits rise from the glass. Savory and earthy, edgy and raunchy, with a subtle tarry note in the background. Moderately dense with ripe, well-proportioned tannins and a dreamy finish. A wine of character that shows its individuality in each vintage. Very good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 266 cases, $50. This vineyard is organically farmed by Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards. Clones are Wädenswil, Dijon 113 and Pommard. · Moderately dark in color. Appealing aromas of blackberries, boysenberries and exotic woods. Delicious core of black plum and blackberry fruit that cloaks the firm structure producing a sleek mouth feel and impressive finishing strength. A man’s wine that is yet condescending and soft on the palate. Still alluring the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I wanted to hug this wine. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Gunsalus Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 296 cases, $36. Pamela and Glen Gunsalus farm this vineyard located in Green Valley. Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 are planted in Sebastopol loam and Goldridge sand loam soils. All clones co-fermented with 25% whole cluster inclusion and indigenous yeasts. Aged 20 months in 71% new French oak barrels. · Impressive fruit expression on the nose and in the mouth with a seamless texture. Spiced Bing cherries, cherry cola and nutmeg fill out the aromatic and flavor profile. The oak is perfectly integrated, the tannins are ripe and silky, and the finish is long and memorable. I could drink this all night long. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An engaging, age worthy Pinot Noir that has all the right stuff. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.78, 230 cases, $45. This vineyard is located on the southern flank of the mountain range defining the western edge of Sonoma Valley. It is the highest vineyard in the Los Carneros appellation, sitting on well drained soils of volcanic origin and exposed to the full brunt of fog and cold winds that streams off San Pablo Bay. The vineyard was established in 1998 by Nancy and Tony Lilly with their partner Steve MacRostie. Clones are Swan, Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777. 25% whole cluster. Indigenous yeast fermentation with an extended maceration after fermentation was complete. · A very unique wine that I find challenging to describe. The nose offers appealing aromas of wild dark berries, underbrush, pine and oak, with the fruit coming to the forefront over time in the glass. More savory than fruity on the palate with substantial tannins and a hint of grapefruit on the smooth finish. The combination of clones and distinctive terroir create a wine that stands apart. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.55, 193 cases, $46. From a Certified Organic vineyard planted in 1994 that Rich has worked with for many years dating back to his days at Etude. Farmed by Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards. All clones (Swan, Pommard, Dijon 113, 2A) co-fermented, 25% whole cluster, natural fermentation. Aged in 86% new French oak barrels from several prominent coopers and bottled after 20 months in barrel. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to reveal bright aromas of red and black berries, stone fruits, dried rose petals and subtle oak. Subdued and mysterious in the mouth, with a healthy core of black cherry and black plum flavors with a little red fruit mixed in. Still tight with healthy tannins, but has an appealing softness and a charming earthy appeal. Drink with hearty protein now, or cellar for an even better experience. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Hawk Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, 169 cases, $46. This vineyard sits in a foggy slot in far west Sonoma County near Freestone. The soils are classic Goldridge series. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 115. 25% whole cluster. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak barrels and received an additional year of bottle age before release. · Flashy aroma of ripe black cherries with a kiss of oak. Delicious array of dark red and black cherry and berry flavors with a perfect compliment of oak spice. The generous finish wows you. Lip-smacking good. Still fine the next two days from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Dijon Clones Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 256 cases, $46. Dijon clones 115 and 777. 25% whole cluster, wild fermentation, post-fermentation maceration, aged 20 months in 69% new French oak barrels. This vineyard is located high above Bennett Valley at 1,200 feet on the northwestern side of Sonoma Mountain. · Deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing perfume offering many nuances including crushed dark red fruits, smoked meat, spice and subtle oak. Striking flavors of raspberries, black cherries, ripe strawberries and smoky oak. Smooth and seductive in the mouth, lingering with a refined aromatic finish. The more I tasted it, the more I liked it. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Pommard Clone Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.87, TA 0.51, 218 cases, $46. Most years, the Pommard and Dijon clone blocks are co-fermented or blended before barreling. In 2007, the Pommard (UCD 4) was picked much later than the Dijon clones and the wines made from the two clones were interesting enough to stand on their own. 25% whole cluster, wild fermentation, post-fermentation maceration, aged 20 months in 86% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued fruit aromas with a loamy bent. Brimming with boysenberry and cassis flavors becoming more charming over time in the glass. Deep and generous, with complimentary oak notes and well-endowed fine-grain tannins creating a pleasing textural experience. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Sonoma County Cuvee Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 167 cases, $26, released July 2009. A blend of barrel lots from several of the vineyards that make up vineyard-designate wines. · Loamy cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors with overtones of oak, baking spice, cola and green beans. Precocious and highly approachable now, the moderately rich core of fruit is elegant in form, silky in texture, and stylistically typical of a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. A wine to buy by the case for daily drinking. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 120 cases, $45, released April 2009. Highest in elevation of any vineyard in Carneros and directly exposed to cool air from San Pablo Bay. The soil is red pebbly clay loam derived from decomposed volcanic rock. Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777. · Unusual aromatic profile of strawberries, raspberries, beets, and green veggies. Luscious berry melange that is very satisfying, set off by supple ripe tannins, leading to a sweet raspberry kiss accenting the full-flavored finish. Like the name of the vineyard, this wine is a little untamed and feral and not your usual respectable Pinot Noir. Even better the next day from an opened and recorked bottle. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Hawk Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 141 cases, $46, released September 2009. This vineyard is east of Freestone on Gold Ridge’s southern slope. It’s namesake soils are perfect for Pinot Noir. This is a very cool and foggy site. Clones 115 and Pommard 4. · Welcoming aromas of berry compote, spice, sandalwood and subtle oak. Rich flavors of black cherries and raspberries with underpinnings of cola and savory herbs. A harmonious wine that finishes with a welcoming snap of acidity. Its fruit driven soul shows off the bright fruit so typical of the Russian River Valley. Still drinking beautifully the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 502 cases, $46, released September 2009. This vineyard is located above Bennett Valley at 1200 feet on the northwestern side of Sonoma Mountain where it is impacted by cold Pacific Ocean air. Clones are 115, 777 and Pommard. · Appealing nose of black cherry, blackberry and plum, forest floor, herbs and toasted oak. The flavors echo the aromas. Hefty tannins and bright acidity with a smooth mouthfeel. Raw, grippy and still very tight. Picked up richness and interest the next day from a previously opened re-corked bottle. Definitely a cellar candidate. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Adastra Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 321 cases, $50, release date February 2010. Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards farm is vineyard which is organically certified. Clones are 113, 2A, Pommard and Swan. · If you pull the cork early next year, decant or give this wine plenty of time in the glass. Black fruited and very fragrant with toasty herbal oak that has not yet integrated. This wine makes you sit and take notice. Fruit-driven and hedonistic with the most persistence finish of any of the wines in the lineup. Smoothly textured with flamboyant tannins now. The next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the tannins had smoothed out, and there was a jolt of plum fruit with a pleasing mocha presence on the nose. Don’t even think about drinking this wine for several years. This may prove to be the best wine in the lineup in five years. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Talisman Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 503 cases, $50, released September 2009. This vineyard is located in a foggy, windy site at the edge of the Petaluma Gap. Clones are 115, Pommard and Swan. · Scents of fresh berry pie, winter herbs, pencil lead and oak. Very tasty black cherry and berry core with a touch of herbs, juniper berry, and oak. An earthy wine with mineral nuances that is light on its feet and changes constantly in the glass. Impeccable balance predicts longevity. This wine projects a special pedigree. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Talisman Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 339 cases, $50. This vineyard is located on the northern edge of the Petaluma Gap, a very cold and foggy site. It is essentially dry-farmed. The clones are 115, Swan selection, and Pommard. 25% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in 60% new French oak. · This is currently the most showy of the 2005 Talisman Pinot Noir lineup, but even this wine will benefit from decanting if drunk now. Plenty of showy ripe black cherry and wild berry fruit, hints of oak, earth and tar. Mouth filling richness with excellent balance and length and a defining acidity which portends a long life ahead. Reviewed July 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. Talisman always pours wines which are a vintage or two behind others. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of sweet, ripe plums and sugared berries. A masculine, muscular wine featuring ripe dark fruits, moderate tannins and an earth-toned fruity finish. This wine has many years ahead of it. Very good. Reviewed April 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Talisman Ted’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 208 cases, $40. · This is the crowd pleaser in the lineup that is drinking beautifully now. Wilted red roses and wild red cherries come to mind in the bouquet. There are nicely composed red fruits and magic spice. A very drinkable Pinot Noir. Reviewed March 5, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Talisman Ted’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$46. · Light in color but packing plenty of punch. Dark cherry and mushroom in the nose with lovely cherry fruit and a hint of oak, earth and vanilla in the flavors and finish. Light touch. Reviewed July 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Talisman Ted’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 259 cases. Scott Rich crafts this wine from Ted Klopp’s vineyard. · Lighter crimson color. Complex scents of cherries, old oak, prune and chimney. Yummy and comforting black cherry and cherry cola flavors with a hint of raisin. Smooth and satisfying. This wine rocked the next day from a re-corked open bottle - smooth as silk with plenty of spice including cinnamon - a hallmark of Talisman Pinot Noirs and a sign that this one has several good years of life ahead. The Talisman wines are sold through a mailing list and on the website. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2003 Talisman Wines Thorn Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

I am a fan of Scott Rich’s wines as they are quite distinctive and built for beautiful aging. Scott was pouring several other very good Pinots including the 2005 Hawks Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. · This wine is just hitting its stride with pure ruby color, dried cherry and berry flavors, complimentary earthiness and sauvage, and lively acidity. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2003 Talisman Ted’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 259 cases, · Light in color, this wine still delivers the goods with dark fruits and mushrooms in the nose and lovely cherry fruits on the mid-palate. Earthiness, vanilla and spice add charm. Brisk acidity and residual oak tannins on the finish indicate a need for further cellaring. A Pinot with a light touch that one could spend time with. Reviewed August 24, 2007 ARTICLE »

2002 Talisman Ted's Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 233 cases, $38. This vineyard, planted in 1994, is located in the rolling hills just west of Laguna de Santa Rosa and is farmed by noted viticulturist Ted Klopp. Clones include Swan selection, Pommard and Dijon 115. Yield was 2.4 tons per acre. Aged in 50% new and 40% 1-year-old French oak barrels. · This wine has a lovely perfume of cherry pie and spice. The opulent dark cherries are enhanced by gregarious Asian spices, licorice and cola. A sweet finish with dusty tannins leaves a favorable impression. This is an opulent wine that still tasted terrific from an opened and re-corked bottle two days later. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2002 Talisman Truchard Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 365 cases, $38. The Truchard Vineyard is a reliable source for Pinot Noir. Located close to Saintsbury's Brown Ranch Vineyard and Hyde Vineyard in Los Carneros. The grapes for this wine come from two blocks: an established planting of over 22-year-old vines and a 3-year-old block. Clones are Swan, Pommard, and Dijon 115 and 777. Aged 16 months in new and 1-year-old French oak barrels. · Everything in this wine is gentle and subtle. Plenty of dark cherries, herbs, chocolate and a kiss of oak, finishing cleanly with racy acidity. A delicious wine drinking perfectly now. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2002 Talisman Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 245 cases, $44. This vineyard lies in a rugged, cold and foggy location on the edge of the Petaluma Gap. Ted Klopp farms this desolate outpost. The soils are low vigor and water is very limited. · This Pinot is full of character and is just plain terrific. Harmonious and balanced with a velvety mouth feel, this wine needs some time to reveal its charms. Give it adequate air time and it becomes silky and sensuous, redolent with red and dark berries, cherries and an underlying earthiness. You can even enjoy it as it evolves over several days. It was delicious from an opened and re-corked bottle three days later, becoming less about fruit and more about interesting notes of leather, tobacco, exotic wood and wet leaves. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2001 Talisman Kathy's Cuvee Carneros Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 81 cases. While Scott and Marta were bottling their 2001 Carneros Pinot Noir in 2003, they learned of the tragic death of a dear friend, Kathy Polucha-Kessler, who was one of seven skiers killed in an avalanche in British Columbia. The Richs' bottled this special wine made from the grapes of Las Brisas Vineyard, donating a portion of the profits from the sale of this wine to the Truckee Donner Land Trust, a cause that Kathy espoused. · Describing this wine was a challenge for me since this is a Jekyl and Hyde Pinot. Initially it had little aromas and was flat, bitter and stemmy. Decanting the wine and waiting a couple of hours brought forth an interesting Pinot Noir which continued to improve over the ensuing two days. The nose blossomed with aromas of earthy cherries and nutmeg. A silky core of cinnamon-laced cherries, leather, spice, mushrooms and sandalwood developed and the wine was striking. This is an argument for giving wines time to open up. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2001 Talisman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · Don't be fooled by the color of this wine. Almost transparent, it is well-stocked with flavor. A spicy nose leads to delicate flavors of cherry, raspberry, leather and spice. Very feminine with prominent acidity that may not appeal to everyone. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2001 Talisman Thorn Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 404 cases. The 2001 vintage was marked by a cold, damp spring and the worst frost since 1980. As a result, yields were very small (1.9 tons per acre). · This Pinot offers attractive aromas of cherries and warm cookie dough. The fruit is enhanced with notes of earth, mushrooms and sauvage. The structure is firm but the style is elegant and silky. A rustic, Burgundian-styled wine that takes awhile to come around. Three days later, the edges had softened, the fruit was more forthcoming, and the wine was still pumping out the flavors. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2000 Talisman Carneros Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 280 cases. The grapes were sourced from two different blocks of the Truchard Vineyard. · This wine has more body and structure than the Russian River Valley bottling of the same vintage. The nose is appealing with its sweet, ripe fruit and earthy spices. The red and black fruits are highlighted by earth and underbrush. Notable tannins still persist on the oaky finish. Tasted the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle, the finish had noticeably softened and the tannins were beautifully integrated. Reviewed May 1, 2006

2000 Talisman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 300 cases. The grapes come from Klopp Ranch Vineyard made famous by Merry Edwards. Aged 10 months in 65% new French oak. · Elegance with a capital E. The nose is weighty with cherries and toasty oak. The sappy red cherry fruit is tinged with mocha and spice, and flows over the palate with a refined mouth feel. The lingering finish is lip smacking. Once this wine lands its hooks into you, there is no tearing away. A reference wine for neophytes trying to find out what the excitement about aged Pinot Noir is all about. Excellent! Reviewed May 1, 2006

1999 Talisman Carneros Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 331 cases. · Very slight brickish color to the rim in the glass. The nose is funky initially but this soon blows off. The hearty flavors of wet leaf, rich baking chocolate, cinnamon spice and vitamin tension are satisfying and even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The mouth feel is all satin. Reviewed May 1, 2006

1998 Talisman Carneros Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 171 cases. · The nose carries interesting scents of spiced raisin and licorice. The palate is rich and full of cherries, herbs and leather picking up intensity in the glass over time. Plenty of stuffing left and thoroughly enjoyable. Impressive for a difficult vintage. A Hugh Hefner wine: showing a little age but still perky. Reviewed May 1, 2006

1997 Talisman Carneros Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 267 cases. · Astonishingly fresh and alive upon opening. I had to keep looking at the label to be sure this wine was from the 1997 vintage. Great body, full mouth feel, nice acid backbone and everything in balance. The nose offers a hint of port and cinnamon toast. Cranberries, rose petal, herbs, anise and mint flavors are in profusion. This beauty lost a little intensity over time in the glass - forget the foreplay and drink up. Reviewed May 1, 2006